Belief And Frustration At Meribah And Jesus ' Statement Of Living Water
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Belief and Grumbling in Israel’s Experience at Meribah and
Jesus’ Statement of Living Water
March 24, 2015
Jesus’ claims in John 7:37-38 about living water are often deemed important by readers, but the average reader does not see the importance of the cultural backdrop of the Feast of Booths and the historical events of Israel at Meribah coming to a climax at this moment. The water imagery of John 7 is sourced in Old Testament narrative; Israel’s experience at Meribah overflows into Jesus’ encounter, and the story challenges readers with the age-old choice between grumbling and belief. Jesus claiming to be the source of living water and call for all who are thirsty…show more content… Jesus says in this passage that “whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Claiming this is vital to John’s narrative, the listener of Jesus and reader of the Gospel. The importance is increased through the historical significance of the Feast of Booths.
Water and Feast of Booths Jesus’ statement of living water comes at an opportune moment. John did not place this event unwittingly into the narrative of the story. The Feast of Booths, according to Josephus, was the greatest and most holy of the Jewish festivals. The celebration would have drawn large crowds; many would have been gathered as each Jewish male was expected to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the celebration (CITATION). Jesus made his claims around the Temple; there would have been plenty of festival goers around to listen and hear him. His audience also would have understood the significance of his statements in relation to the events occurring around them.
The feast makes sense of Jesus’ use of water imagery. A water-libation ceremony was one of the most visual sacraments performed at the feast. Each day, priests, along with a following of pilgrims, would walk to the Pool of Siloam and fill a jar with its water. Walking back into the city through the Water Gate, the priest would take the jar to the Temple where an